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About this poet

Born on August 20, 1975 in Portland, Oregon, Matthew Dickman was raised by his mother in the suburb of Lents. After studying at the University of Oregon, he earned an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin's Michener Center.

Dickman's first full-length collection, All American Poem, won the 2008 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize in Poetry. He is also the author of two chapbooks: Amigos (Q Ave. Press, 2007), and Something About a Black Scarf (Azul Press, 2008). His second collection is forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Co. in 2012.

Dickman's style, as exemplified in All-American Poem, was noted in the Los Angeles Times:

Dickman crystallizes and celebrates human contact, reminding us...that our best memories, those most worth holding on to, those that might save us, will be memories of love...The background, then, is a downbeat America resolutely of the moment; the style, though, looks back to the singing free verse of Walt Whitman and Frank O'Hara.

Dickman's awards include the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, the 2009 Oregon Book Award, and two fellowships from Literary Arts of Oregon. He has also received residencies and fellowships from the Michener Center for Writers, The Vermont Studio Center, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and The Lannan Foundation.

In addition to writing, Dickman serves as Associate Editor for Tin House magazine. He also appeared in the 2002 film Minority Report alongside his twin brother, poet Michael Dickman. 

Maine Seafood Company

Matthew Dickman, 1975
(Salt)

A LOBSTER.
           Once out of the box
           The wooden box
           The metal box
           The box, the box, the box
           Dragged up from the salt

           Things don't feel too bad

           And then they do

           And then they don't

(And waves)

From 50 American Plays by Matthew Dickman and Michael Dickman. Copyright © 2012 by Matthew Dickman and Michael Dickman. Reprinted with permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.

From 50 American Plays by Matthew Dickman and Michael Dickman. Copyright © 2012 by Matthew Dickman and Michael Dickman. Reprinted with permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.

Matthew Dickman

Matthew Dickman

As well as publishing widely, Dickman has also appeared in the 2002 film Minority Report alongside his twin brother, poet Michael Dickman.

by this poet

poem
for matthew z and matthew r
I remember telling the joke
about child molestation and seeing
the face of the young man
I didn't know well enough 
turn from something with light
inside of it into something like
an animal that's had its brain
bashed in, something like that, some
sky